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Walk slow, talk slow, keep yer head low; Ehhhh, what's up, Doc? (Semi-Private)
Topic Started: May 17 2013, 11:45 AM (1,024 Views)
NotAFlyingToy
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Southern motherfuckin' democratic republicans.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Hansel Williams continued from Sometimes Goliath Has A Point))

Despite the massive food fight and long, drawn out arguments that had taken place within it, the lunch room still held strong. The garbage that had littered the floor was cleaned up and polished, with little traces remaining of the truly apocalyptic battle of condiments and questionable meat. The room was mostly filled with people milling about, most of the tables half filled or mostly filled with laughing, joking students. Into their midst walked Hansel Williams, a small scowl on his mangy face as he stalked towards the one completely empty table, a brown bag curled in his right fist.

He was fresh from a Social Studies class that was quickly becoming the bane of his weekly existence. Apparently at Aurora High, Social Studies was synonymous with filling the ears of his fellow students with varying degrees of blasphemy, relegating God’s word to some form of theoretical display. At one point last month, the teacher brought up the safe sex debate, condoning condom use in high school.

High school.

Hansel snorted at the thought of sexually active, vile students roaming the halls. He’d seen and heard his fair share of talk, sure. He even had a confrontation with a few choice members of the student body who dallied in rutting with their own genders. In one case, both genders. They had no shame, these teenagers at Aurora High.

He sat down at the table, tossing his brown paper sack onto the smooth white surface with relish. Social Studies that morning had brought them the wisdom of Stoicism, through a tangent of class discussion and teacher-prodded questioning. Stoicism, from what he had paid attention to, was the belief that the entire universe held you accountable for what you did. Trusting yourself and your will to do the right thing.

It was only among such a cesspool of sinners and immorality that such a thing could exist, Hansel mused, sliding an apple out of his bag and tossing it into the air as the lunch room filled out around him. Still, he sat alone at one, the snap resounding as he bit into the apple, his thoughts filled with poison towards his classmates, the school, and Washington in general.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Garrett Wilde continued from Historically Speaking))

This is what a good day felt like. Not only had he been able to catch up with Bella, but Geometry had been cut short by a pop quiz that he was more than prepared for. He'd taken the extra time to meditate and try to balance his mood back out before Social Studies, and had planned on continuing the exercise until his alarm alerted him it was time for lunch. He needed to keep a better eye on his schedule.

He surveyed the packed lunchroom, looking for an empty space. He'd expected that there'd be little room for him by now, but he wasn't very concerned, normally he could find a welcoming group of acquaintances to take lunch with. To his surprise, he spied a near-empty table, though his shock did not outlast knowledge of its occupants: Hansel Williams. Garrett didn't know him well, but he knew that he was a churlish individual. He felt a pang of sympathy for him. He really didn't know much about Hansel or his background. Maybe he was just another broken individual looking for someone to hear his story. Normally he'd try to keep his distance and survey the situation a little more tactically before approaching such a person, but he was reminded of how well his relationship with Bella had developed and how much they had helped each other because of his spur of the moment decision to speak with her. Who's to say that he's any different?

He put on his friendliest smile and strolled over to Hansel's table. "Hello there! Hansel, right? Mind if I sit here?"
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Hansel chewed his apple, leaning back as far as he could in one of the plastic chairs as he eyed Garrett levelly. The crunching of the fruit echoed around in his own skull, drowning out the sound of the vicious thoughts echoing inside his head. Here he stood, one of the very kids who's opinion in the very class Hansel was brooding over he'd come to despise. With another vicious chomp of molars on tender flesh, the apple was ground into paste and slid down the seated boy's throat.

"Reckon' here's a good a place as any," Hansel intoned, his voice deep and clearly put on, chin tucked backwards to get the optimum result. He had learned that if he put his chin downwards, pushed his head backwards, his tongue rolled over the hard syllables easier. Even more effective was dropping his voice to the low, slow pitch that he adopted.

"You're Wilde," he said. The word 'Wilde' had no T's in it. The word 'Wilde' he could say fine. "Got pret-ty vocal back there, huh?"

Even as he fought against the stuttered T, it came out. Hansel forced himself not to wince, kept his gaze level, hoping Garrett hadn't noticed the slip-up. He jerked his head backwards, indicating the past, referencing the class in which Stoicism had been brought up. Ignoring the little trickle of sweat that had formed on the back of his neck.
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Garrett cautiously took the seat, observing Hansel's mannerisms carefully. He'd never been able to get a good look at him in class, but now that he could see him clearly his suspicions were confirmed. There was something manufactured about him. His persona suggested confidence, superiority, and perhaps...contempt? That wasn't a good sign. Garrett was used to people being uneasy around him, but contempt was rarer. He needed to be careful. Hostility wasn't conducive to discussion.

He suppressed a wince as he caught the reference to their Social Studies class. Hansel seemed less than receptive to the concept of Stoicism. Perhaps that was just the tone of the class, though. He'd hoped this wouldn't be too much of a barrier. He could almost hear Alexander coaching him as he formed his strategy.

Emotions are in many ways the mental equivalent of bombs, Garrett. They operate on a set time-frame, and if you tamper with them ignorantly the only reminder of your incompetence will be a crater. For skilled eyes and hands, however, they are a delicate, intricate puzzle just waiting to be solved.

After their discussion in class, Garrett's own bomb was ticking. He was tempted to note that Hansel was not only dangerously ignorant, but proud of that fact. Still, it wasn't fair to judge him on such brief encounters. Perhaps he'd simply misunderstood.

"Well, the goal of argument is not victory, but discussion, no? That was Joubert's opinion, at least. I find it helps to keep things balanced. You seemed less than pleased with the today's topics, though."
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Another bite of the apple - a wet snap, followed by thoughtful crunching, narrowed eyes. That, Garrett, you ignorant slob, is the understatement of the century. He allowed the time to draw long between his answers, ensuring that all the bits of apple were cleared from his mouth before shaking his head, leaning forwards onto the table with his elbows, looking back down at his brown bag.

"Noooooope," he said, probing between his molars with his tongue as he drew the sound out. From within the bag, he pulled out a tuna fish sandwich, sliding it out with two fingers.

"G-hess it's hard to see how the topics are relevant," he continued, cocking his chin back and forcing himself not to wince at the slight jump, "'specially not to me. But I reckon I know where I'm goin' when I die regardless."

He finished unwrapping the cellophane from the sandwich, his eyes sliding up to meet Garrett's. For emphasis, and because he was feeling spiteful, he smiled condescendingly.

"More 'n I can say for stoics, that's fer sure."
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That escalated quickly.

He listened carefully to Hansel's dry observation and noted his now blatant distaste. He felt something building inside of him, his muscles tensing has he tried to hold back. It was futile, though. Even Aurelius couldn't keep his composure in the face of such a blunt declaration.

He laughed. Not loudly or for long, but noticeably. He couldn't help himself. The response was so stereotypical and forced, and yet he seemed to genuinely believe he'd scored some kind of rhetorical point. Was that meant to bother him? Garrett couldn't figure this one out. Some people said that he was a man out of time, full of antique habits and mannerisms, but Hansel...this attitude was so far displaced from reality that surrounded him that it was almost pitiable. He really was arrogantly ignorant.

He tried to stifle his laughter as he reached into his bag and pulled out a cold wrap he had prepared that morning. "I do apologize, it's just...well, you're correct. I'm not terribly concerned about where I'm going once I die. I prefer to focus on the life I have, rather than on the one I could have. The idea of betting on a particular after life seems awkward." A wry grin spread across his face. "After all, if you die and suddenly find yourself back on Earth as a beetle, won't you feel rather silly?"
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Hansel glowered slightly at the laughter, making his chin raise a little, his anger evident as he tore off a hunk of sandwich while the kid's laughter echoed through the lunchroom. Some heads turned, making heat steal up the back of Hansel's neck, his brows lowering further until he resembled a caveman, squinting out at what he saw as a newfound enemy. Chewing into the fish, the celery, utilizing the jaw movements, repetitive motions, to soothe himself. It was like working at the ranch. Hammering, sawing, feeding, hauling.

Repetitive motions kept you calm. They kept the stutters at bay.

"An' if there's a heaven, you'll be in hell. Feel jus' as silly as I would," he countered, swallowing. Fishing into the bag again, he pulled out a can of apple juice, stood it upright.

"It ain' bettin' if it's a sure thing, pal. Then it's common sense."
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Garrett chewed a hefty bite of his wrap as he feigned deep thought. Really he just wanted some time to refine his strategy. He didn't like confrontation, but he could hardly help it with someone like this. Even though he should probably just walk away, he wanted to see just how far the rabbit hole went. Hansel was quite clearly tense and uneasy. It was almost like he was trying to convince himself more than he was trying to convince Garrett. His ignorance was a buffer between the outside world and his delicate sensibilities. It was almost fascinating, really.

"Fair point. I doubt I'd be comfortable living in Heaven given the knowledge of Hell, though. Letting billions suffer infinitely for relatively short-lived crimes seems wasteful at best and sadistic at worst. But, to each their own."

He felt a tinge of spiteful desire to reference their discussion in class. He justified it as seeking to clarify Hansel's position, though he suspected there was a slightly malicious undertone to his question. "As sure as the human reproductive urge? You seemed to be quite against betting on 'common sense' as opposed to a moral ideal of abstinence. Not that I'm against moral ideals, but the two notions are a bit incongruous, aren't they?"
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Hansel popped the tab on the can of apple juice, deciding that he really very much didn't like this Garrett character after all. Taking a cautious sip, he left the can in his right hand, frowning at the boy sitting opposite him.

"Well," he began, rubbing his free hand along his chin, stroking the scruff there, "It's common sense t'not rut with other folks 'til yer in a committed relationship - namely, marriage. Though i-hit's looking like our beloved school system condones the act by handin' out condoms like it's no tomorrow. With abstinence, there ain't no chance yer gonna forget t'dress yer soldier one day."

He took another drink, shaking his head.

"'S up ta God. Ain't right t'be handin' them out, temptin' people into doin' each other. 'Fore long, we ain't even a school anymore. We're just a rabbit cage. Jus' look at the so-called 'sexual education' movements in other countries - might as well be askin' for an accid-hent to hap-p-pen."
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There was irony in his word choice that was just too good to be passed up.

"I do believe the the manifest function of sexual education is to prevent 'accidents', as you say," he stated in the driest tone possible, fighting back the mounting urge to laugh once more. "I'd also question your usage of 'common sense' in the context of God's will. I seem to recall him writing 'Be ye fruitful and multiply.' Allegedly, of course. Still, it does seem that if he wanted to avoid this issue he could have made it, say, physically impossible for unpaired couples to copulate rather than erecting a mere parchment barrier in the form of a wedding license, if I may borrow a bit of rhetoric from Madison."

The idea of dispelling hostility was long dead. He had no intention of helping this man, though he plainly needed it. At this point he was aiming to take him down a peg. People like this were generally a good stone's throw away from collapsing under the weight of their own inanity, and facilitating that collapse might be the only favor Garrett was capable of paying him. He went for the kill.

"Besides, is it not written 'Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established?' I believe Paul wrote that, under divine inspiration of course. If God-vested authorities deem it fit to educate, who are you to censure them? That sounds suspiciously like rebellion."
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Carefully, Hansel laid down his canned drink, folding his arms onto the table in between them, leaning towards them. "Y'got a way with words, puh-pal," he said, clenching his jaw as his voice raised in pitch, sounding much more like a teenage boy rather than a deep voiced cowboy. He could feel his control slipping somewhat, but he rained it in, the muscle in his jaw jumping and expanding with the exertion of pressure.

"Real way with words. But it's flawed. If y'install a safety on a gun t'help people, it doesn't change th'fact that they've got a gun, they can forget the safety. If y'teach them tha' the gun is dangerous, an' t'wait before learnin' who it is they're shooting, things'r much safer, easier for everyone. You do the deed and get sick, that's God's judgement."

He spread his hands. "It ain't complicated. Fact, it’s p-pretty cut an’ dried.”
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There it was. He was wavering. It took more concentration to remain focused, and his diction was slipping. There was no smile on Garrett's face. This wasn't a victory, it was merely correction, and he took no pleasure in it. Whatever fracture had caused Hansel's logic to develop in this manner had not healed properly, but to rectify the damage the crippled infrastructure supporting it must be broken and reset. He intended to supply that break.

"And if you install a gun in someone's arm, or in this case their crotch, instill them with a desire to shoot at anything that moves, and then refuse to install a safety out of spite or tradition, you've abandoned common sense in favor of inane supplication."

He took a long, cool drink of his water as he prepared his next point. He suspected that this may end in physical assault, but it was a risk he was willing to take. Alexander had often opted for less gentle methods when teaching him, and he was in no position to correct his mentor.

"Are you familiar with the origin of the word "satan", Hansel? It's a Hebrew term meaning 'one who opposes.' Now, it would seem to me that if one defies the established authorities that are proclaimed to be divinely placed as well as defying the essential logic that one can assume was divinely wrought into the fabric of the universe, then one is acting in opposition to God's plan. Wouldn't that make your actions satanic? By deduction, that would also mean that we both have a certain destination in our future...we'd best learn to get along, Hansel. It seems we two devils will be spending eternity together."
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Hansel snorted, sending some apple juice flying from his nose. "I'm not sure about you," he said, his voice rising in both pitch and volume, "but I haven't felt a desire to shoot someone with my installed g-gun. I have faith in my God, and He's told me to wait until I'm married, ready, able to shoot it before I do. Maybe you and p-people like you need the sort of shitty, blasphemous, hormone-addled c-crap that this school insists on sp-poon feeding you in order to keep your d-dicks from falling off."

He thumped the table between them with two fingers, leaning closer to Garrett over it, his patchy facial hair spreading into a near snarl. "My G-god and my p-parents both have warned me for places like this. It's p-people like you that insist on spreading throughout the globe, t-telling everyone 'It's okay to fuck and spread disease' because you have c-condoms to limp to the finish line with. I b-belong to a higher c-class than you, Wilde. I'm above anyone who thinks they need a c-condom to get through four years of high school."

He leaned back, snapped into his apple again, and added, with fruit flying out of his mouth, "I d-don't care if you think we're the T-texas Rangers. We'll never g-get along."
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Garrett didn't flinch as he felt flecks of apple and hot breath spray from Hansel's uncomfortably close mouth. Instead, his characteristic grin returned to his face, and slowly spread into a smirk as he leaned in on the larger man, returning his death glare steadily.

"Oh, you haven't? Really? Come now, Hansel. You can lie all you want, but I'm afraid your 'gun' gives you away a bit more than your words would suggest." Garrett didn't have any proof to back up his claim, but he felt it was a safe bet. Repression and deviancy make perfect bedfellows, after all. "And here you are calling me blasphemous when you still haven't brought up anything in your manual to contradict me. I've supplied you two bits of God's wisdom, Hansel, and yet you seem so arrogant as to think you can pit your own words against his and come out equal."

He sighed and leaned back in his chair. "This is what's so frustrating about you people. You can't even be bothered to parse your own text, so I have to do it for you even when I really don't care what it says in the first place." He ran a frustrated hand through his close cropped hair, and then held it out to Hansel. "Do you see these gloves? These were given to me by a man who taught me the meaning of control through acceptance, not repression. I've studied every word he ever wrote carefully. I give him more respect daily than you've given to your God in your entire self-absorbed, ignorant life. If you're right, Hansel, we're both set to burn. At least I'll be in good company."
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Hansel could feel his jaw wavering, twisting and churning with the effort he clamped down upon it. It was taking a herculean effort to not just take his fist and smash that smug smirk backwards, feel the ever-so-satisfying bones against fist, really, really put his weight behind it. It's been a while since he'd punched someone - though not as long since he'd been laid out himself - and the temptation was to ruin that long pacifist streak with a nice, hard right hook. He'd even take the time to aim.

He restrained himself, his shoulder shaking as he allowed himself a breath, deciding that if he hit Garrett, Garret would win.

Yeah, this smug asshole would win if he just punched him in the face right here. Hansel nodded slightly to himself, glaring at Garrett as he fought to control his breathing his quivering jaw. Just breathe, Hansel. Just let it in and out. As good as it'd feel, as satisfying as it'd be, it'd be wrong to hit him.

...

Fuck it.

With a sudden twisting of his torso, Hansel swung his right fist, sending it sailing towards Garrett's left cheekbone, giving it all that he had.
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